Two years ago, Carson financial group announced it was investing in a new, $50 million headquarters facility in the Heartwood Preserve redevelopment at 144th and Dodge streets in Omaha. The clean, futuristic and yet still warm, six-story glass building features high-tech and social amenities designed to attract top talent to the Omaha area, and it’s nearly complete.
Miller Electric was privileged to provide low voltage cabling services for the facility through its relationship with Property Management firm Tetrad Property Group and to work alongside general contractor JE Dunn Construction. Tetrad is developing the new headquarters for Carson Group in partnership with Goldenrod Capital Advisors and has a second phase planned for the development. Alex Henry, Senior Project Manager for Tetrad Property Group, says Miller Electric was brought on early in the process so it could be involved in finalizing the building design.
“This helped ensure we were thinking through any items that could cause issues when construction started, and it gave comfort to the owner that their dollars were being spent wisely,” says Henry. “As an owner’s representative, we appreciate Miller’s willingness to spend the time to make sure every topic or conflict is worked out in the way the owner would want to see it. They consider every detail to make it easy for the owner to work with after they move into the building.”
After the headquarters building is finished, a second building of three or four stories tall and 80,000 square feet will connect to the first building by a raised walkway. In an interview with the World Herald, CEO Ron Carson said some space may first be leased to other tenants, but will eventually be entirely filled with training, people and services related to its wealth management and financial technology business.
In ten years, he expects to have 2,000 people working at the new Heartwood complex.
Carson Headquarters Highlights
Omaha-based architect firm, Leo A Daly, was chosen to design the buildings from a nationwide competition, which will include a two-story training and gathering space decked with a rooftop terrace and green space for hosting picnics, bands and events. Other highlights of the 194,000 square foot facility include the following distinct features:
- Amenities hub with café and fitness facilities
- Rooftop terraces
- Unique multi-purpose lobby that functions as a stairway and gathering space
- Transparent exterior that invites ample interior daylighting to a mix of private and collaborative workspaces
- “Family-themed” interior design to reflects company philosophy with public areas named “Living Room,” “Front Porch,” and “Kitchen Table”
Leo A Daly’s design, nicknamed “Ascend” because of its upward-sweeping rooflines, is inspired by Carson’s corporate ethos to be, “guided by growth [and to] live life by design, not default.” The glass exterior is meant to convey Carson’s value of transparency. The facility’s southward orientation maximizes diurnal cycles year-round and offers sweeping views of the 500-acre Heartwood Preserve’s trail system.
Cabling to the Customer’s Needs
Miller Electric Low Voltage Foreman, Nick Incontro, and Low Voltage Project Manager Robbie Kent spearheaded Miller’s work on the project, calling it a design build effort from day one.
“We worked with Carson financial group directly to deliver cabling infrastructure to their precise specification,” says Kent. “We wanted to meet their needs now and make it easy for them to meet future needs later. That meant providing everything from Cat 6A network cabling, which is thicker than typical Cat 6 cabling, to security cabling, fiber optics, and any other low voltage wire system they have, along with their communication rooms, which we built from the ground up with racks and cabinets.”
A Pleasing View, From Any Angle
Incontro wired the security cabling and wireless access points for executive floors, which included tray needs, pathways and arranging the cabling, much of which is exposed, in an aesthetically pleasing way.
“About fifty percent of the project has open ceilings, which made it very important to have all our cable pulled and in place before the ceilings were finished, for accessibility,” he says. “It’s challenging, because no one wants to see data cabling in the ceiling. It has to be dressed nicely, or hidden. When someone looks up, we want them to like what they see.”
Project Offers Opportunities to Learn and Grow
The Carson facility offered Miller Electric’s Low Voltage department the opportunity to fine tune its skills and capabilities in the area of microphone cabling and room scheduling.
“While it was new for us, we always welcome the opportunity to gain fluency in a new type of wiring,” says Kent. “It broadens our techs on the job and helps them learn and grow. This project uses IP-based AV cabling instead of room-based cabling. The benefit is that any AV issues or needs can be addressed from anywhere on campus. It eliminates the need for an IT member to travel to a particular location to resolve an issue. Instead, the way this building is wired, issues can be diagnosed and resolved from anywhere.”
Good Communication Leads to Smooth Project Flow
Throughout the project, Incontro and Kent say their contacts at Carson Wealth and Tetrad Property Group (Kris Fauth and Alex Henry, respectively) were easy to work with and excellent communicators.
“Everyone was so responsive,” says Kent. “If ever there was a question or need, Kris and Alex provided timely answers and accurate information. I can’t speak highly enough of how Kris kept us on the same page and how smoothly Alex helped the project to flow.”
Incontro agrees, saying the communication between subcontractors involved in the project was great. “We met several times onsite to make sure all parties involved were on the same page about changes, adds, or anything else that came up. I just can’t stress enough how much communication on these larger projects makes a world of difference for everyone.”
The positive experience was shared by Henry, who commented on how valuable it is to work with a partner you can trust on a project of this scope and size.
“On a project the size of Carson’s building, it is huge to have a trusted partner to work with that you know is looking out for the best interest of the owner. The team of Brian, Nick and crew are dedicated to making the project a success and to meeting tight deadlines and the owner’s expectations,” he says. “Overall, Miller Electric is a valued partner and working with them on this project has been enjoyable.”
When construction is complete, the Carson complex will mirror its aim – to attract world class talent to Omaha and make a world of positive difference for its clients, the Carson financial group family, and the city.